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Makani Power

Makani Technologies LLC

Makani was a 13-year effort to create kites that could efficiently harness energy from the wind. This collection documents the pioneering process of developing the some of the world's first airborne wind turbines.


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Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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As Makani developed the M600— the world’s first utility scale energy kite—the team chose to begin testing components first on an 'iron bird' as well as individually, then together in the field before the entire system had been completely designed as a way to accelerate learning. To learn more about the Makani M600 energy kite and Makani’s approach to technology development and testing please see "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Flight Controls, M600, Flight Monitors, Data,...
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Prior to any flight test, Makani began to conduct Hardware in the Loop testing, known as HITL testing. Running the code on the kite and any representative systems that were available was an efficient way to find bugs in the system before going to the trouble to put the kite in the field. The kite would run through a flight test while being fed wind data as though it were actually flying.  These photographs document the setup of that HITL station as they were installed in Makani headquarters in...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Hardware
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Prior to flying crosswind with a new M600 airframe the wing would undergo a proof load test. These photographs show several aspects of the wing load test. Because the test article is the same wing we would plan to fly, caution was taken to accurately predict the loads that the kite would see in crosswind flight and mimic those loads without exceeding them in the test. The wing load test would indeed reveal weakness in bonds or the structure of the kite and the test would stop once popping or...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, Energy Kite, Engineering, Load Testing, Carbon Fiber, Repair
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Early Makani flight testing was used to gather data and determine the efficacy of different kite, power-gathering and control arrangements. Zaftig was Makani's first rigid wing design, and the first carbon fiber prototype. After the first, short, test flight of this prototype the team scrapped carbon fiber designs for several years—instead using cheaper materials that were quicker to prototype and repair. To learn more about the Makani project please see “The Energy Kite: Selected Results...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Carbon Fiber
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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This collection of photographs document the lead up to and the subsequent completion of Makani's All Modes ground station, which was the first base station that would support all the modes of flight required for Makani's energy kite to be fully autonomous. In May of 2013, just before joining Google, Makani completed the first turnkey flight of an airborne wind energy system.  This is a compilation of footage from flying Wing 7, a prototype with a wing span of 8 meters, mass of 58.4 kg and...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Individual components of Makani's M600 Energy Kite were commonly tested in a variety of manners to develop them, ensure they were structurally sound and to learn their operational range. To learn more about the Makani project please see  “The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I,” available at x.company/projects/makani.
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, Engineering, Load Testing, Component Testing, Kite
Makani Power
by Andrea Dunlap
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One of Makani Power's founders, Corwin Hardham, prepares to launch a kite for a test flight on the runway of the old Naval Air Station in Alameda, CA. This kite was steered using a capstan mechanism, evident in the center of the kite on the strut.   
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Energy Kite
Makani Power
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The Energy Kite: Selected Results from the Design, Development, and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I of III / by Paula Echeverri, Tobin Fricke, Geo Homsy, Nicholas Tucker, on behalf of the Makani team.  Makani has spent the last 13 years designing and building kites to harness energy from the wind with the goal of creating a new way to bring wind power to more people around the globe. Founded by kitesurfers in 2006, the team started testing their airborne wind power concept...
Topics: Makani, Energy Kite, M600, technical report, Airborne Wind Energy, Kites, Wind Power, Prototyping
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Makani's Wing 3 prototype, also known as Plank. It was an intentionally simple and quick prototype that was built to prove that a rigid tethered airfoil could be commanded to fly in circles indefinitely. It was launched like a bottle rocket using an air compressor to pressurize a pipe set up for launch.  All testing of Wing 3 occurred in 2009 in one of three test sites in Alameda, near Davenport on the coast and on Sherman Island, in the Sacramento Delta. 
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Flight Controls, Kite, California
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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A series of photographs of Makani Power testing an energy kite prototype on the runway of the former Alameda Naval Air Station. This setup featured a soft kite—a kiteboarding kite—attached to a winch on the ground station, which was a decommissioned firetruck. Test goals were to make the test autonomous, meaning the kite was controlled by. computer. At this time the autonomy would usually last about twenty minutes at a time. The box on the top of the firetruck was a custom-built carbon...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Flight Controls, Flight Monitors, Data, Telemetry
Makani Power
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On August 8th, 2019, Makani flew its M600 energy kite from a floating platform in the North Sea, becoming the first team to demonstrate a utility scale airborne wind energy system offshore.  Makani’s goal was to create an entirely new renewable energy technology that could bring power to hundreds of millions of people living along the world’s coastlines where the wind is strong and steady, but the water is too deep to fix wind turbines to the ocean floor. Makani’s airborne wind energy...
Topics: makani, airborne wind energy, energy kite, floating offshore
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Makani's Wing 6 prototype.  This kite was an intentionally simple and quick prototype that was built to develop the controller that would hover a rigid kite and then transition in and out of crosswind flight—the kind of flight that would generate power.   All testing of Wing 6 occurred in 2010 on the runway of the former Naval Air Station. 
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Flight Controls, Kite
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies, LLC
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Early Makani flight testing was used to gather data and determine the efficacy of different kite, power-gathering and control arrangements. Wing 7 had an 8 meter span and four onboard rotors used for hovering and for generating power in crosswind flight. These photographs are of the kite being fabricated. To learn more about the Makani project please see “The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I,” available at...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Carbon fiber, fabrication
Makani Power
by Andrea Dunlap
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Early testing of Makani energy kites with soft, kitesurfing kites. Various methods of steering were tried, this system used a capstan on the kite and a winch on a retired and repurposed ladder firetruck as a ground station. The concept would harness the power of the wind at the ground. 
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Early Makani flight testing was used to gather data and determine the efficacy of different kite, power-gathering and control arrangements. In tests conducted in late 2008 the team used a three-line pumping kite setup, wherein two lines were used to steer the kite in a figure-eight pattern and a third line wound on and off a winch drum, which was the method of gathering the energy from the wind. This design was used to pilot the kite for two long autonomous tests—over 24 hours each—in...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Photographs from some of Makani Power's flight testing of a rigid wing energy kite. The kite was actively tested from 2011-2014 in one of a few test sites in California—these photographs were taken in either Alameda, a site near Davenport, CA or Sherman Island, CA. 
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Flight Controls
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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The Makani team switched from soft, kitesurfing-style kites to rigid kites made from carbon fiber. Their first prototype was started in August of 2008 and first tested in May 2009. The team first assembled a 'plug' and then reversed that to create a mold. 
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Carbon fiber mold
Makani Power
by Andrea Dunlap
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Member of the Makani team test an inflatable windmill concept on the back of a truck at their headquarters in Alameda, California. 
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Energy Kite
Makani Power
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A slow-motion ground-based view of the dramatic break-up of Makani’s M600 SN3. One of the key challenges in learning to control the Makani M600 was understanding the unique dynamics of tethered flight of a rigid airfoil. While Makani’s M600 looks a lot like an airplane, the addition of the tether means that the way the M600 flies is different from the way an airplane that is designed to fly in a straight line flies. Building an understanding of tethered flight dynamics was an ongoing part...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, M600, Aircraft, Loads, Crash
Makani Power
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An onboard camera mounted at the junction point of the tether and bridles captures the dramatic break-up of Makani’s M600 SN3. One of the key challenges in learning to control the Makani M600 was understanding the unique dynamics of tethered flight of a rigid airfoil. While Makani’s M600 looks a lot like an airplane, the addition of the tether means that the way the M600 flies is different from the way an airplane that is designed to fly in a straight line flies. Building an understanding...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind, Aircraft, Experiment, Flight Test, Aircraft Loads
Makani Power
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This video shows the base station TransformDown maneuver in operation during all modes crosswind flight 09 (CW-09), June 7, 2019. The base station performs the Transform maneuver when it transitions from the reel configuration to the crosswind configuration after paying out the tether (TransformUp) and when it transitions back from the crosswind configuration to the reel configuration before reeling in (TransformDown). Transform is, by far, the main factor driving complexity on GS02 (the base...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, M600, GS02 Base Station
Makani Power
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This video showcases the lighting and marking scheme of the Makani M600 Energy kite developed in collaboration with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). During flights CW-07 and CW-08 in Hawaii in the Spring of 2019, the kite launched in late afternoon and flew until nighttime. FAA observers flew in a small aircraft around the test site, approaching from different headings and in different light conditions. The goal was to assess whether the kite and tower lights were conspicuous to...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, Night Flight, M600, Energy Kite, FAA, Aircraft Lighting
Makani Power
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During the TransOut maneuver, the Makani M600 transitions out of crosswind flight and into a hover mode, in preparation for the tether reeling the kite back in to the base station. During all modes crosswind flight 09 (CW-09), the kite behaved atypically after TransOut and the team decided to re-enter crosswind to stabilize it so this flight had two TransOuts, which is unusual. In TransOut, the hover controller takes control of the kite at the end of a crosswind loop and stabilizes the kite at...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, M600, Crosswind, TransOut
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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The Makani M600 pylons exhibit a resonant mode during a constrained hover test—shaking and flexing upon start. This particular resonance was exacerbated by an experimental feature that had been added to the controller to regulate roll attitude by redistributing the thrust command to rotors with different spin directions. We called this configuration “reverse double rainbow” because the bottom outboard rotors and top inboard rotors spun one direction (making one “rainbow” while the top...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, Hover Flight, Mechanical Resonance, Pylon Shake, Test,...
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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An animation showing the Makani M600 energy kite's worst alpha excursion during the all modes crosswind 08 (CW-08) flight. The event stands out due to: alpha, tension, kite pitch rate, and kite heave acceleration. See also the video from "20190501 Makani Energy Kite All Modes Crosswind Flight 08 (CW-08) Onboard Camera View from Fin..." For more information, please see "Selected Decks from All-Modes Lessons Learned Reviews," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results From...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, M600, Crosswind, Aircraft, Kite
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Miles Loyd, the author of the first patent for airborne wind energy, in 1980, visited a test of Makani's Wing 4 prototype in the Sacramento Delta at Sherman Island. 
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Miles Loyd
Makani Power
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Makani's M600 energy kite flying in Hawaii during all modes crosswind flight 11 (CW-11), in December 2019. This clip shows the bridle and tether during the transition from crosswind flight to hovering reel-in. In this flight the tether "whipped" in an unusual manner and this camera captured that behavior from the ground station side of the tether. For more information about Makani’s flight testing program, please see "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The...
Topics: Airborne Wind, Makani, Kites, M600, Prototype, Roll
Makani Power
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This video shows a close up view of the final moments of Floating Crosswind Flight 01 (FCW-01), showing the loss of M600 design kite serial number 5 (SN5) in hover after the offshore flight FCW-01. This event highlighted the vulnerability of the M600 design to marginal roll stability in hover. In FCW-01, the autonomous flight controller lost control of the kite’s roll attitude, then the kite’s yaw attitude, and, consequently, lost the kite to the Atlantic Ocean. The kite had just...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, M600, Energy Kite, Offshore, Floating Offshore, TransOut, Crash
Makani Power
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Makani's M600 energy kite flying in Hawaii in spring 2019. This camera mounted below the base station captures the base station and tether movements. This full crosswind flight (CW-06) was 4 hours and 45 minutes long, so this video has been cut to show the tether dynamics and and base station motion from the beginning and the end of the flight, including launch and landing. Audio is from engineers in the command center. For more information on base station operation, please see ""Base...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, Crosswind, Flight Test, Wind Power, Prototype
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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This is an animation of Makani's C-simulation data for the M600 energy kite during Crosswind Flight 06 (CW-06) on the Big Island of Hawaii, April 18, 2019. The view is looking “up the tether cone” from deep underground as the kite flies clockwise circles. The simulated tether’s 18 nodes can be easily seen. The purpose of this animation is to demonstrate the effectiveness of “Racetrack Slewing”, a new approach to moving the commanded circle in response to changes in wind direction. In...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Aircraft, Wind Power, Flight Controls, Data Analysis
Makani Power
by Andrea Dunlap, Kate Stirr, Betsy Pfeiffer
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The Makani team worked from 2006 to 2013 to create an entirely new kind of renewable energy technology: the energy kite. Although the project has now been wound-down, this video describes how Makani hoped energy kites could help address the need for climate solutions.   To solve the climate crisis we need new technologies, but creating and maintaining hope and resilience as a community is equally important. The Makani team solved technical challenges not just through innovation, but through...
Topics: airborne wind, makani, climate change, technology, prototyping
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies, LLC
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Makani's Wing 4 prototype—there were several kites made in this configuration, including Wing 4a, which did not have rotors but was a scaled-up version of Wing 3 and used the same controller.  This kite was an intentionally simple and quick prototype that was built to prove that a rigid tethered airfoil could be commanded to fly in circles indefinitely, and motors were installed to Wing 4b, 4c, 4d. The kite was launched like a bottle rocket using an air compressor to pressurize a pipe set up...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Flight Controls, Kite
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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This video showcases the 8x8 dynamometer, a bench test that allowed Makani to validate utility scale power generation for the M600 energy kite. Each Makani M600 flight test was preceded by conducting a dry-run, which involved executing as much as possible of the flight plan on the ground. One aspect of this was hardware-in-the-loop (HITL) testing, where as much kite hardware as feasible would be exercised. In a HITL run, the flight controller would run on the kite (as in nominal operation), but...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Bench Test, Prototype, Test Platform, Dynamometer, Electric Motors,...
Makani Power
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This is a compilation of footage from flying Wing 7, a prototype with a wing span of 8 meters, mass of 58.4 kg and rated power of 20 kW during Makani’s 2013 testing season. This video shows Wing 7 performing autonomous flight modes including launch, hover out, transition to power generation, transition back to hover and landing to the perch. To learn more about the Makani project please see “The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne...
Topics: Airborne Wind, Wing 7, Wind Power, Kites
Makani Power
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This video shows the full duration of Makani’s historic Floating Offshore Crosswind Flight (FCW-01) on August 8, 2019. The flight took place outside of Karmøy, Norway. Expanding Makani’s operating environment to the ocean was necessary in the path to verify our business proposition: that energy kites could be flown from relatively small floating platforms, which could be affordably deployed over broader areas of the globe where there was power in the wind blowing offshore. Specifically, in...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, M600, Energy Kite, Offshore, Floating Offshore Wind
Makani Power
by Andrea Dunlap
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Early testing of Makani energy kites with soft, kitesurfing kites. Various methods of steering were tried, this system was referred to as a 'rail' system, wherein the lines that connected the kite to the ground could be moved forward or back on the kite to steer it. A winch on a retired and repurposed ladder firetruck was used as a ground station.  This kite energy concept would harness the power of the wind at the ground. The rails system was attractive because it looked simple and...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing
Makani Power
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On August 8, 2019 Makani's M600 energy kite launched from and landed on a base station mounted on a floating platform (spar buoy) in the North Sea, off the coast of Norway. This short offshore flight (FCW-00) demonstrated the landing capability of the M600 on a moving base station. Kite take off is at 0:26 in this video and landing is at 4:32. Audio is from the engineers in the command center, located on an adjacently anchored barge. This flight was the first short flight of the Makani M600...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, Energy Kites, M600, Offshore Wind, Floating Offshore Wind, Prototype,...
Makani Power
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The objective of Makani’s M600 energy kite test program was to create an efficient way to harness energy from the wind. In the energy kite system, the tether is a critical component, transfering power from kite to ground and constraining kite in flight. However, the tether increases drag on the system which impacts the overall power performance. Simulations showed that a faired tether would result in dramatic improvement to performance, so an experimental section of fairings was added to the...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, Remote Perch, Flight Testing
Makani Power
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An early constrained hover flight test of the Makani M600 on June 12, 2015. As Makani developed the M600— the world’s first utility scale energy kite—the team chose to begin testing components together in the field before the entire system had been completely designed as a way to accelerate learning. To learn more about the Makani M600 energy kite and Makani’s approach to technology development and testing please see "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The Energy...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Hover Test, Flight Test, M600, Energy Kite, Prototype
Makani Power
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Makani's engineers practice transitioning Wing 7, a prototype with a wing span of 8 meters, mass of 58.4 kg and rated power of 20 kW, from hover to crosswind and back several times before flying crosswind for 12 minutes and then landing. This test was conducted in Alameda, CA on March 28, 2012. To learn more about the Makani project please see “The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I,” available at...
Topics: Airborne Wind, Makani, Wing 7, Kites, Wind Power
Makani Power
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In December 2016, Makani’s M600 flew the first-ever crosswind flight of a utility scale airborne wind energy system. Makani’s M600 energy kite was designed to produce up to 600 kW—enough to power about 300 US homes. Makani's M600 design measures 85 feet across and has 8 onboard rotors that are each 7.5 ft in diameter. For comparison, Makani’s previous prototype, Wing 7, was a 20 kW system measuring 25 ft across with 4 rotors, each 2.23 ft in diameter. For more information about the (now...
Topics: Airborne Wind, Makani, Wind Power, Kites
Makani Power
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A full-flight video of the M600 energy kite flying in Hawaii in December 2019, as viewed from a drone and a hand-operated camera. The primary flight objective for Makani’s 11th crosswind flight from the GS02 base station in Hawaii was to safely return to onshore flight after the loss of M600 SN6 after TransOut in FCW-01. Part of this objective included the goal to prove that the poor flight performance in CW-10 was not due to changes made to the system before CW-09 & 10, and likely due to...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, Kite, M600, Energy Kite
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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During an early hover test of the Makani M600 energy kite on August 28th, 2015, the kite drops and is caught by the top constraint line. For further discussion of this behavior, please see section 4.1.3 in "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I, and available at x.company/projects/makani Filmed and edited by Andrea Dunlap.
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Wind Power, Flight Test, Hover, M600, Prototype
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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This animation shows the Makani M600 energy kite motion during crosswind flight of CW-06 on the Big Island of Hawaii. The view provided is not physically possible to achieve with a camera: deep inside the earth, looking up at the kite as it flies clockwise circles. A straight blue line connects the kite to the ground station for reference. Looking up the “tether cone” like this makes this straight blue line act a lot like a hand on a clockface. The blue circle is the instantaneous commanded...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, Prototype, Flight Controls, Data Analysis, Flight Test, Wind...
Makani Power
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Tufts of yarn attached to the Makani M600 airframe indicate how the air flows over the wing during flight and give feedback about features such as boundary layer separation and reattachment. The tufts played a key role in helping Makani engineers understand if the airframe was performing as expected in different conditions and in different modes of flight. This flight, Remote Perch Crosswind Flight 02 (RPX-02), took place on December 14, 2016, near Ridgecrest, CA. For more information, please...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Kite, Prototype, M600, Flight Test, Airflow, Airframe, Tufts
Makani Power
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A view of the groundside hardware of the Makani M600 energy kite system during Remote Perch Crosswind Flight 02 (RPX-02), December 14, 2016. For the Remote Perch flight system the kite launched and landed at full tether length and a new structure called the “Top Hat” was developed to mount on the ground station tower’s azimuth bearing to carry the groundside gimbal and the ground sensors suite, doing away with the larger and more complicated structures of the ground station, the winch,...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, Crosswind, Flight Test, Base Station
Makani Power
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In this video power system engineers Sophie & Jessy introduce the “short stack,” a module to maintain operations of six of the Makani M600’s eight powertrains in the event of one powertrain failure in flight. This would keep the kite flying even in the event that one or two of the kites rotors stopped spinning. The Makani M600’s eight powertrains are arranged electrically in a "stacked" configuration, grouped into four pairs, where the two powertrains in a pair are...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Wind Power, Power System, Electric Motors, Wind Power, Bench Test,...
Makani Power
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This video documents Makani's longest all modes crosswind flight with the M600 kite and the GS02 base station in its entirety. The flight, Crosswind Flight Six, (CW-06) took place April 18, 2019, near Waimea, Hawaii. For more information about Makani’s flight testing program please see "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I, and available at...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, Energy Kite, Crosswind, Prototype, Technology, Wind Power
This video shows a close-up view of the Makani GS02 base station on a floating platform anchored in the North Sea off the coast of Norway on August 8, 2019. The video focuses on the kite, tether and base station during launch, reel out, and transition into crosswind flight during Floating Crosswind Flight 01 (FCW-01). Audio is from engineers in the command center, located on a barge anchored near the base station. To learn more about Makani’s flight testing program please see"Makani's...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, Wind Power, M600, Energy Kite, Offshore, Floating Offshore Wind
Makani Power
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This video shows Makani’s early soft kite flight test platform. In this configuration the kite steering was capstan-driven, meaning the kite’s leading edge was tied together by a belt with a motor in the center which would relay the belt to one side or the other in order to turn the kite. The power was generated on the ground by pulling a line in or out from the winch on the ground station, which was formerly a ladder truck. The kite flew in figure eights while pulling out the line and...
Topics: Airborne Wind, Prototyping, Makani, Kites
Makani Power
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Jiayuan, a software engineer, joined the flight testing team in the field to see how his code was being put to use in the real world. In this video Jiayuan shares his impressions of seeing the kite in the field and describes his work on the Makani Flight Monitors. The flight monitors provided engineers in the command center in the field as well as engineers at home in Alameda a way to view the real time information pulled from the telemetry produced by the Makani Flight Controller during...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Testing, Flight Controls, M600, Flight Monitors, Data,...
Makani Power
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This video captures the entirety of all modes crosswind flight 09 (CW-09) from a camera mounted on the underside of the kite fuselage. For more information about Makani’s flight testing program, please see "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I, and available at x.company/projects/makani.
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Crosswind, M600, Prototype, Wind Power, Energy Kite
Makani Power
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Full High Hover Flight Test 02 (HH-02) with the Makani M600 kite (SN1) and the GS02 base station, near Waimea, Hawaii, December 1, 2018. This video focuses on the GS02 base station. Audio from engineers in the command center. In order to fully test the transform maneuver required to allow the kite to transition from hover to crosswind flight, an unconstrained "High Hover" test was needed. In this second high hover test, the kite hovers vertically away from the perch and extends to the...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Test, Prototype, M600, Hover
Makani Power
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This video shows the TransOut, reel in, TransformDown, and landing modes of the all modes M600 crosswind flight (CW-05), as viewed from a POV camera mounted on the "levelwind" portion of the GS02 base station. A visual representation of data is overlaid and audio is from the command center engineers. TransformDown begins just after the 3 min mark. Filmed April 9, 2019, near Waimea, Hawaii. For more information on base station operation, please see ""Base Station Team Final...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Controls, M600, Analysis, Flight Test
Makani Power
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This compilation video showcases various interactions of the Makani M600 energy kite and GS01 base station as the M600 energy kite hovered under a safety constraint line on November 28, 2015. To learn more about the Makani M600 energy kite and Makani’s approach to technology development and testing please see "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I, and...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, Flight Test, Hover, M600
Makani Power
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The third Remote Perch Crosswind Flight 03 (RPX-03) was the first unconstrained flight of the Makani M600 to launch from and land back on Containerhenge. Containerhenge was a modified perch made of shipping containers that allowed Makani to test crosswind flight before the system’s accompanying ground station was completed and validated. The first two Remote Perch flights (RPX-01 and RPX-02) ended in tether release and glide landing, so landing back on the perch in RPX-03 was a celebrated...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, Crosswind, Flight Test, Prototype
Makani Power
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This flight summary of the fifth unconstrained flight of the Makani M600 showcases the team’s growing confidence in flying the Makani M600. From a variety of camera angles this video highlights the key moments of flight—launch, transition into crosswind flight, crosswind, transition out of crosswind flight, hover, and return to the perch. After the first successful landing on Containerhenge in RPX-03, the team’s attention turned to generating power. This flight was 1 hour 45 minutes in...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, Prototype, Crosswind, Flight Test, Wind Power, Containerhenge,...
Makani Power
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Full High Hover Flight Test 01 (HH-01) with the Makani M600 (SN1) kite and GS02 base station, near Waimea, Hawaii, November 28, 2018. Wide angle view. Audio from engineers in the command center. When incorporating the new GS02 base station into Makani’s testing program, kite/base station interactions were tested by hovering the M600 under a safety constraint line. However, in order to fully test the transform maneuver required to allow the kite to transition from hover to crosswind flight, an...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, Energy Kite, M600, Flight Test
Makani Power
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This flight took place January 13, 2010. Wing 4b was the first Makani energy kite prototype to include onboard motors, and early pen cameras provided additional insight into the performance of some of the kite’s components during this early test flight. To learn more about the Makani project please see “The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines,” available at x.company/projects/makani. Filmed and edited by Andrea Dunlap.
Topics: Airborne Wind, Makani, Kites, Wind Power, Prototype, Wing 4
Makani Power
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In mid-2011 the Makani team achieved a significant milestone for airborne wind energy. This was the first flight of an airborne wind energy system that demonstrated both power generation as well as the autonomous flight modes needed to launch, land and fly crosswind. This flight was one of the first crosswind flights of Wing 7, a prototype with a wing span of 8 meters, mass of 58.4 kg and rated power of 20 kW. To learn more about the Makani project please see “The Energy Kite: Selected...
Topics: Airborne wind, Makani, Wing 7, Wind Power, Kites
Makani Power
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Propellor designer Ben Berry introduces his latest design for the Makani M600. The M600’s rotors served two purposes: to hover the kite vertically for take-off and landing and to drive onboard generators while in flight. The M600 had eight 5-blade rotors, each attached to an electrical motor/generator, and mounted at the top and bottom of each of four pylons. For more information on the M600 airframe design and rotors, please see “Makani Systems Overview” included in “The Energy Kite:...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, Rotors, Propellors, M600, Variable Pitched Rotors, Kites,...
Makani Power
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In this video Dean and Evan show off the newly rebuilt “drum slip ring,” a component of the Makani M600 GS02 base station. The Makani GS02 base station had two slip rings: one behind the drum, one behind the detwist drive. Both slip rings accommodated for the movement of the base station and tether, allowing for an uninterrupted voltage path between the kite and the ground power even while the base station and tether were in motion. However, the reliability of the slip rings was not...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Slip Ring, Base Station, GS02, Field Testing, Flight Testing,...
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Lifting the M600 kite onto the perch using a crane and constraints. September 27, 2019. In this video the kite is lifted to the perch using a spreader bar and hardware that was added to the kite to allow for the addition of slats (an effort to increase power production). Over the course of Makani’s years testing the M600 Makani engineers prototyped various methods for lifting the kite to its perches: the initial M600 base station, GS01, Containerhenge—two stacks of shipping containers that...
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, Lifting, Rigging, Spreader Bar, Kite, Energy Kite
Makani Power
by Andrea Dunlap & Kate Stirr
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A short summary of one of the initial crosswind flight tests of the Makani M600 energy kite with its accompanying base station. Makani’s first flights of the M600 from the GS02 base station on the Big Island of Hawaii represented the first time a utility scale airborne wind energy system had demonstrated all of the flight modes necessary for commercial operation. These autonomous flight modes include launch, hover to full tether length, transition in to power-generating crosswind flight,...
Topics: makani, m600, airborne wind, wind power, kite
Makani Power
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This video shows the base station TransformUp maneuver as viewed from the groundside tether termination at the GS02 base station during the M600 all modes crosswind flight 03 (CW-03), March 11, 2019. The base station performs the Transform maneuver when it transitions from the reel configuration to the crosswind configuration after paying out the tether (TransformUp) and when it transitions back from the crosswind configuration to the reel configuration before reeling in (TransformDown)....
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, GS02, Base Station, Tether, Flight Test, Prototype
Makani Power
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Dramatic roll and recovery of the Makani M600 energy kite following transition out of crosswind flight during Remote Perch Crosswind Flight 02 (RPX-02), December 14, 2016. To learn more about the Makani M600 energy kite and Makani’s approach to technology development and testing please see "Makani's Flight Testing Approach," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part I, and available at...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Prototype, Wind Power, M600, TransOut, Hover, Roll
Makani Power
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This video shot in the field at Makani’s Hawaii test site gives a glimpse into the kind of regular troubleshooting that occurred as we worked out bugs in our hardware and software. Tobin describes a specific troubleshooting effort for a slip ring on the GS02 base station. Because of the pace of Makani’s test program, we often did not have spares available for key hardware components (thus Tobin alludes to poaching the part in question from the other working prototype of the GS02 base...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Wind Power, Slip Ring, Decision Making, M600, GS02, Base Station,...
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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This spreadsheet accompanies the article "The Spreadsheet Kite Structure Sizer" by Florian Kapsenberg included in Part II of the Makani technical report entitled,  The Energy Kite.  The paper explains how Makani computed predicted airframe mass from performance requirements and input parameters. You can find the paper which includes instructions for using this sheet on page 273 of Part II of the report, available for download at  https://archive.org/details/theenergykite .
Topics: Aerospace, Aiframe, Structure, Wing Size, Airborne Wind, Energy Kite, Makani
Makani Power
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This video shows the hardware on the “Top Hat,” a structure that was designed to carry the groundside gimbal (GSG) and the ground sensors suite, doing away with the larger and more complicated structures of the ground station, the winch, and the perch for Makani’s Remote Perch Crosswind testing configuration. Visible in this video are power and encoder cables, held back from the GSG by bungees for flexible strain relief. Also visible from this vantage point is the “bending strain...
Topics: Makani, Airborne WInd Energy, M600, Prototype, Kite, Crosswind, Base Station, Tether
Makani Power
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Controls engineers Michael and Tobin describe their efforts to resolve sideslip excursions in the Makani M600 flight path. At the start of the RPX flight program, the Makani crosswind controller relied almost entirely on linear error-state feedback. While this was adequate to support the initial flights, we observed that the kite's flight path led to regular excursions in aerodynamic angles that were not adequately suppressed by the control system, as Michael explains in this video. These were...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Flight Controls, M600, Energy Kite, Prototype, Aircraft, Flight Test
Makani Power
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This video shows the base station TransformDown maneuver in operation during all modes crosswind flight 03 (CW-03), March 11, 2019. The base station performs the Transform maneuver when it transitions from the reel configuration to the crosswind configuration after paying out the tether (TransformUp) and when it transitions back from the crosswind configuration to the reel configuration before reeling in (TransformDown). Transform is, by far, the main factor driving complexity on GS02 (the base...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, M600, GS02, Base Station, Kite, Wind Power, Tether, Prototype, Test
Makani Power
by Makani Technologies LLC
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Two GS02 base station slews during Crosswind Flight 06 (CW-06). There is an example of a "bad" slew around 15:19, and an example of a "good" slew around 24:27. For more information about this test, please see "Selected Decks from All-Modes Lessons Learned Reviews," included in The Energy Kite: Selected Results From the Design, Development and Testing of Makani’s Airborne Wind Turbines, Part III, and available at x.company/projects/makani.
Topics: Airborne Wind Energy, Makani, M600, Energy Kite, GS02, Base Station
Makani Power
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Hardware-in-the-loop (HITL) testing allows as much kite hardware as feasible to be exercised before a flight test. In a HITL test, the hardware runs as in nominal operation, but its sensor inputs are driven by simulator outputs. The Iron Bird was created as test platform for validating subsystems on the Makani M600 without the need for an airframe. Originally published on the former Makani YouTube channel on Oct 3, 2014. Filmed and edited by Andrea Dunlap. To learn more about Makani’s flight...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Test Platform, Iron Bird, HITL, Wind Power, Prototype, Test
Makani Power
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Tao explains the creation of the MV-LV voltage converter that was designed to allow longer flight times for the Makani M600. Early flights of the Makani M600 relied on on-board batteries to power the 72 VDC bus that served the kite avionics and servos. This would limit flight duration (RPX-05, for example, was ended after 1 hour and 45 minutes of crosswind because the battery level was low.) But by RPX-08, we integrated an MV-LV converter to step down the 3400 VDC bus to 72 VDC, and flight...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Power System, Voltage Converter, M600, Prototype, Flight Testing,...
Makani Power
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This video shows the first All Modes Crosswind flight (CW-01) of Makani's M600 kite with the GS02 base station. This full-flight video was filmed on December 4, 2018, near Waimea, Hawaii. Audio is from engineers in the command center. Makani’s first flights of the M600 from the GS02 base station on the Big Island of Hawaii represented the first time a utility scale airborne wind energy system had demonstrated all of the flight modes necessary for commercial operation. These autonomous flight...
Topics: Makani, Airborne Wind Energy, Wind Power, Energy Kite, Prototype, Crosswind